NEWS & EVENTS
Two New Books Completed.
On the Origin of Species
A children's book that reveals the unlikely and remarkable ways that animals around the world communicate with friends, rivals, enemies and mates. It covers sight, sound, body language, chemicals, droppings and horrible smells. It even explains how some species have surprisingly sophisticated language.
Written by Dr. Michael Leach and Dr. Meriel Lland. Published by DK.
Work is finished on a children's
title looking at Charles Darwin's
1859 ground breaking book.
Written by Dr. Michael Leach and Dr. Meriel Lland, this explains how Darwin's ideas changed the way we view animals and ourselves. It also covers
discoveries about evolution made since Darwin's masterpiece first appeared.
Published by Arcturus it will be available around Christmas 2023.
Zoom presentations to an interesting and inspiring list of organisations.
Harrow School. China.
A session on Sustainability and the Environment with students of Harrow School Shanghai.
Animal Adaptations. An interesting session with students of South Saigon International School.
A presentation on Animals Behaving Badly for the annual Science Festival - TechFest.
Michael contributed natural history sections to a new children's encyclopedia in Romanian, along with Meriel Lland, Claudia Martin and Claire Hibbert.
Animal Book and
Contributors: Michael Leach, Meriel Lland and Claudia Martin.
Yew Chung International School.
Covid has forced another lockdown on the residents of Shanghai so all outside vists to schools were postponed, Michael spoke to YCIS students about writing wildlife books using illustrated online presentations.
Thank you Tania Jordan.
Ukraine Language Edition.
The Animal Encyclopedia is published in Ukrainian. It is an honour to have even the slightest connection with this beleaguered country.
Let us hope that the insanity ends soon.
Finished work on two new children's books for Arcturus. The World of Plants and The World of Animals were co-written by Dr Michael Leach and Dr Meriel Lland. The beautiful artwork was created by talented Colombian illustrator Juanita Londono Gaviria. The books look at plants and animals on all continents and explain how they are suited to their specific environments. Both titles will be published at the end of 2022.
Michael was zoological consultant for the new 2023 DK Eyewitness Amazon book. The illustrated title covers the wildlife, landscape and people of the Amazon rainforest. It also examines the threats that face the world's largest rainforest.
Bangkok Patana School
Michael gave a series of Zoom presentations to this excellent school. They looked at Animal Adaptations and how specialised species have evolved to survive in extreme environments. The 6 hour time difference between Thailand and the UK made for some very early starts.
US Film Festival.
Michael was invited to be a judge in the 2022
Jackson Wild Film Festival. The world's
premier showcase for wildlife documentaries.
New Language Editions.
The Animal Encyclopedia has been published in French Canadian and the Wildlife Watcher in Mexican Spanish.
Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology - FRSB.
The Royal Society of Biology is a learned society and professional association created to advance the interests of biology in academia, industry, education, and research. It represents many of the societies
and organisations that form the landscape of biological science.
October 2020. Online presentations
While Covid prevents public gatherings, online presentations seem to be the only option for live events. Michael's first virtual talk was as part of the excellent Orkney International Science Festival. The subject was the Galapagos Islands and featured a PowerPoint show. The technology worked perfectly and was straightforward to use, since then he has presented many more Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings. This appears to be the way forward for the foreseeable future.
Animal Encyclopedia published in a
new language to add to the translated books list.
While Covid stops us travelling far afield, it's easy to forget the amazing wildlife we have on our doorsteps. Blue tit in flight, photographed in our garden- 1/30,000 second.
Visiting Author in Saigon
A week in Vietnam to present zoology and ecology sessions at the Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City. Really enjoyed the students' engagement and enthusiastic welcome. With thanks to Lara and Dan Keller, Claire Elam and Amy Coquillard. A fascinating visit.
November on the West Coast of Ireland.
Speaking at The Mayo Science Festival. A truly beautiful place to visit but sadly not enough time to explore thoroughly. The people, landscape and wildlife were wonderful. Thank you to Castlebar College and County Mayo.
New book published by Arcturus.
The Amazing Book of Animals.
By Michael Leach and Meriel Lland.
At long last there's been time to photograph gorillas again. These animals really are one of the most inspiring and rewarding subjects for any wildlife photographer.
September in Scotland
Speaking at Orkney International Science Festival. In Kirkwall the talk was Poles Apart - wildlife of the Arctic and Antarctic. Ferry to Hoy to present a Science Event with Prof John Brown -Scotland's Astronomer Royal. John looked at Ursa Major - Great Bear Constellation, Michael spoke about working with Polar Bears. Ran sessions at Kirkwall Grammar and other Orcadian Schools. Thanks to Prof Howie Firth.
The excellent annual Science Festival, covering a range of disciplines from medicine to robotics. Michael's presentation was "How to Speak Gorilla". Thanks to Jenny Taylor.
July 2019. New six book series published in US.
Animal Explorers. Michael Leach & Meriel Lland. Pub Enslow (New York). Carnivores, Creatures of the Ocean, Insects and Mini Beasts, Omnivores and Herbivores, Reptiles and Amphibians and Birds.
Presentation to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, on the ecology of tropical rainforests and the threats they face.
Booked to speak about Gorilla behaviour at 2019 New Scientist Live, one of the world's biggest Science Festivals. 10-13th October at ExCel London, it covers physics, neuroscience, artifical intelligence etc. Other speakers include Alice Roberts, Marcus du Sautoy, George McGavin and Liz Bonnin. https://live.newscientist.com
published in Spanish, Czech, Danish, Italian and Polish editions.
Speaking at Cheshire's "Amazed by Science Festival"at Crewe and Alderley Edge Science Park - and the "Book Jam" Literary Festival in St Ives, Cambs.
Elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS). This is turning
out to be quite a year.
March 2019. Festivals
Speaking at the Caithness International Science Festival, Bournville BookFest and Bishop's Stortford Literary Festival.
Animal Encyclopedia published in Romanian and Swedish editions.
February 2019. Northern Ireland Science Festival.
Gorilla talks in Lisburn and Strabane. Plus events in Belfast and Lurgan arranged by N.I Libraries. It's always a pleasure to visit Northern Ireland.
Indian Ocean Trip.
Speaking at a Primary School on Mauritius and then exploring the wildlife of the island and the Indian Ocean. Even found an Echo Parrot, with a population of around 300, one of the world's rarest birds.
Presentation to the Royal Photographic Society
Pensychnant Conservation Centre, North Wales.
Excellent and enthusiastic audience.
May 2018. New
C0-authored with Meriel
Lland and published in UK edition by Arcturus.
Wildlife Watcher Guide published
in Portuguese edition.
Elected a Fellow of the
Zoological Society (FZS).
Thank you all.
March 2018. Return to the Caithness International Science Festival
Michael presented an evening of "Exploration and Discovery" with Duane Carey, NASA astronaut and pilot of the Columbia Space Shuttle on its trip to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
Duane reflected on his time orbiting the Earth 165 times and Michael spoke about exploring tropical rainforests, polar regions and other wild places. Thanks to Cheryl and Duane for good company and a great evening, hope we can do it again sometime.
January 2018 visit to Oman
Wildlife Watcher Guide published in Spanish and French editions.
Elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).
A lifetime ambition fulfilled. thank you RGS.
Spent 5 days at the American British Academy in Muscat, looking at Animal Adaptations, Polar Habitats and Rainforest Ecology. A fascinating school and enjoyable visit. Had a few days to explore Oman - well worth it. Thanks to Mara Hakim and David Veinot for hospitality, coffee and dates. The students were very impressive too.
New Year in the Negev Desert
Exploring Israel's Makhtesh Ramon, at 26 miles across this is one of the world's largest craters. We went in search of Nubian Ibex, it took a while but eventually we found them. Also wandered the Dead Sea and Masada.
Nature Explorer Guide book published in Italian edition.
Polar Bear Conservation feature, co-written with Meriel Lland, published in French bear book. le Monde des Animaux.
Talk to members and staff of the Welsh National Botanic Garden.
March 2017. Speaking at the Caithness International Science Festival
An excellent mixed science event at the northernmost tip of Scotland, with presentations at Wick and Thurso. Also had time to look at Dunnet Head, the Grey Cairns of Camster and plenty of coastal wildlife. Thanks to Prof. Iain Baikie
Northern Ireland Author Visit. Feb 2017
A quick speaking tour of Northern Ireland, with events at Bangor, Cregagh, Ballymoney and Antrim. Not enough time to explore this interesting place. Thanks to Valerie Christie of NI Libraries.
Spring In Western Australia
September 2016. A visit to explore unfamiliar landscape and wildlife. Almost everything in this country is fascinating. It's an extraordinary place and home to amazing wildlife.
New Book - August 2016
By Michael Leach & Meriel Lland - another in the Ultimate Guides series for children. It looks at the skills needed to track, observe and photograph wildlife. The practical chapters cover field-craft, equipment, safety, identification, and photography - in habitats such as woodland, urban, mountains and water. The book comes in 2 forms - Flexibound (Pub QED) and Paperback (Pub Firefly Books).
Birdwatching Magazine - April 2016
A four-page co-authored article by Michael Leach and Meriel Lland, looking at current conservation efforts to save the Northern Bald Ibis.
Photographs by Michael and Meriel.
December 2015 .
A talk to Oxford University Exploration Society
An interesting audience and venue. The OUES has been organising impressive expeditions since 1927. The evening went well, there were plenty of questions and lots of enthusism. A very rewarding place to give a talk. Thank you for the invitation.
Bavarian International School, Munich
Michael spent 2 days at this splendid school, as visiting wildlife author. During that time the children learned how to speak gorilla and investigate wildlife matters on their own. It was a very enjoyable trip. Thanks go to all the BIS pupils and the School's impressive librarian Rachel Jackson.
Summer 2015. South Africa
A quick trip to gather material for an upcoming book project produced the usual amazing African wildlife sightings and lots of new images.
June 2015 - Benenden School
Michael spent a day at this fascinating school as an advisor for their ecology project. Michael's sessions covered Rainforest diversity, using the life story of a brazil nut tree as an example of the Amazon's complex ecosystem.
Spring 2015. In Search of Waldrapps
To Tamri in Morocco tracking down the northern bald ibis. Also called the Waldrapp, this is one of the world's rarest birds, with just 600 left in the wild. The trip was to gather photos for an article on the conservation and biology of this Red Data listed species. Fortunately the birds co-operated and the images worked very well.
Michael's New Book
Arctic versus the Antarctic
A children's wildlife book - as the title suggests - on the differences between the Arctic and Antarctic.
Published by Badger Learning
In search of seals.
Donna Nook in North-east Lincolnshire is probably the best place in Europe to view newly born baby grey seals. Well worth a visit in late November or early December.
Morocco. February 2014
A quick visit to Morocco's Anti Atlas Mountains and coast produced welcome sunshine away from England's incessant wet winter and the chance to photograph migrant birds on their way back north, ready for breeding in Spring.
This curlew is feeding on the shore line in the late evening.
Primates of the Caribbean.
In BBC Wildlife, October 2013, Michael Leach and Meriel Lland have contributed a 6 page article from the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The feature relates their recent trip to study the vervet monkeys of St Kitts - and the animals' alcoholic habit of stealing drinks from beach bars.